The arrest of a 42-year-old man in Kolkata on July 7,the day of the Bodhgaya blasts,has reportedly revealed an explosives supply unit of the Indian Mujahideen responsible for supply of explosives for IM-linked blasts since 2010,including the German Bakery blast in Pune,Chinnaswamy stadium blast in Bangalore and the 2011 Mumbai serial blasts.
Anwar Mullick,who was arrested by the Kolkata Police Special Task Force,supplied explosives to IM operative Yasin Bhatkal since 2010,said sources familiar with Mullicks interrogation over the past week. Mullick,who has been linked to terrorism-related activities since 1993,sourced explosives via Bangladesh,added the sources.
Investigators are working on information provided by Mullick on his linkages for sourcing and supply of explosives to the IM network to identify other elements in the network,said sources.
A resident of Ranibandh in Chapra sub-division of Nadia district of West Bengal,Mullick was arrested with explosives and counterfeit Indian currency with face value of around Rs 1.90 lakh,according to reports.
The IM networks source of explosives has remained a mystery so far. Till late-2008,when much of the IM network was dismantled by security agencies,the explosives were believed to be sourced from the coastal region of Karnataka.
In the case of the May 13,2008 serial blasts in Jaipur,the ammonium nitrate was found to be sourced from Udupi near Mangalore by IM operatives Atif Ameen (killed in the Batla house encounter of September 19,2008) and Ariz Khan (an absconding UP operative).
In the September 13,2008 Delhi serial blasts case,investigations found that two accused persons,Mohammed Saif and Mohammed Khalid,travelled from Delhi to Udupi to pick up a 7-kg stash of ammonium nitrate and 10 detonators from a man identified as Shah Rukh (believed to be Yasin Bhatkal).
However,the source of explosives in the coastal Karnataka region has remained untraced. Security agencies have blamed the Karnataka police for botching up an operation in October 2008 to capture key IM operatives like Riyaz Bhatkal,Iqbal Bhatkal and Yasin Bhatkal,resulting in the question remaining unanswered.
Yasin Bhatkal,believed to have rebuilt the IM network post-2008 with new recruits from Bihar,was known to frequently visit Kolkata to receive materials. In fact,he was arrested by the Kolkata Police in a counterfeiting case in December 2009,but was let off under mysterious circumstances.
Meanwhile,sources said Mullick is not being linked to the supply of explosives used in the Hyderabad and Bangalore blasts earlier this year. Police are pursuing a man identified as Parvai Basha and four men men linked to the proscribed Al Umma outfit to identify the possible source of explosives for these blasts.